Here at Interiors to Inspire studio we love refinishing furniture for our awesome clientele!  Just the other week we refinished a sideboard into a change table and made it a matching set by refinishing the crib.  Creating matching sets of furniture doesn’t have to be difficult and this is a technique you could use on some very unlikely pairs.  The aim is to make the set look intentional, even if the pieces vary in shape and finishes.  To create our nursery set we painted the crib and bottom of the changetable in the same color, technique and waxes.  We went with a softer feeling finish on the top of the change table giving it a bit more dimension.  In this How To I’ll be breaking down how we achieved these finishes and what tools were used, let’s get started.

What you’ll need


-Paris Grey Chalk Paint

-Pure White Chalk Paint


-Annie Sloan’s Black Wax

-Annie Sloan’s White Wax

-mineral spirits

-paint brush, we used Annie Sloan’s no.12

-wax brush, we used Madeline’s medium wax brush

-old t-shirt rags (any rag that won’t leave much lint behind)

-2” chip brush


Optional – for the majority of projects the below products are completely unnecessary

-TSP (trisodium phosphate)

-Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer

-Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac

-orbital sander

Step 1 – Clean your furniture

On the crib, a few gluey labels were removed with Goo Gone, then a quick wipe down with warm water.


The change table needed a bit more love.  Chalk Paint requires no sanding or priming before painting however there are exceptions to every rule.  When the change table arrived at the studio it was clear a few extra steps would be needed, the top was significantly damage with oil, water, dents, dings, chippy paint, you name it.  So first, I sanded back the top with an orbital sander to remove any major textural differences and to remove some of the oily, flaky damage.  Next the whole piece was washed with TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove any grease and dirt residue.  I gave the piece a quick wash with just warm water to remove any TSP that might have been left on the surface and finally it’s ready to paint…kind of.  For this piece we knew we’d be fighting oil and water damage bleed through so we didn’t mess around, we went right for some Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer.  After two coats of the primer I still had bleed through so we went with two layers of Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac to make sure I wasn’t going to get anything coming through my paint.  The change table was in the client’s family for 100+ years, during which time it had taken on layers and layers of who knows what, for the majority of projects these steps are completely unnecessary.  You can see the bleed through my primer coats happening in the images below.

Step 2 – Chalk Paint

On the crib two coats of Paris Grey were painted on, careful around those slats to make sure no drippy paint.  We’re using the Annie Sloan #12 brush to create beautiful brush texture, the chip brush can be used to cut in any really hard to reach areas.


For the change table I started by making my Pure White Chalk Paint thick with an awesome product called Saltwash.  Mixed in a 1:1 ratio, Saltwash thickens your paint and lets you create cool textures.  I applied it to the top of the change table, making sure I didn’t miss any spots.   If you didn’t want a uniform texture you could be selective with where you applied your mix.

Next the whole piece wax painted with 2 coats of Paris Grey.

Step 2a– Sand that Saltwash

Using a 220 grit sanding block I sanded back the change table top to reveal all that Saltwash goodness underneath.

Step 3– Wax it!

Annie Sloan has 4 colors of wax but that shouldn’t limit your color choices at all.  For our wax layer we went with a mix of the Black Wax and the White Wax (1:1) to create a grey wax.  Since we wanted the top of the change table to read a bit softer we went with just a Clear Wax.

Sidenote: If you ever feel like your wax is too thick and it’s taking a lot of elbow grease to move it around, you can add a splash of mineral spirits in there (for a 500 ml container a tablespoon is a good amount).  The spirits will thin out your wax and make it creamy and beautiful to apply.

Once the wax layers were done we let the furniture rest for 24 hours and then gave them a quick buff with a buffing cloth.  Buffing a wax finish will take away any residual stickiness and give the surface a bit of a glossier look.

Remember how different these pieces looked before we started painting?!  Here’s a couple quick refresher images.

Our originals had very different looks, shapes and colors but Annie Sloan’s awesome line of products makes it so easy to create the same finish that we were able to make them into the most darling little nursery set.  From bedrooms to living rooms to the outdoors, matching sets can really bring a space together, adding cohesion and sophistication.  What kind of unlikely pairs will you match set?  I’ve included a couple of inspiration images below to help get you thinking in sets 🙂  Happy Painting!